Post the hit of the pandemic, several modifications have taken place in health insurance plans in order to fulfill the majority of modern medical requirements of their customers to remain relevant in the ever-changing scenario of emergencies. While COVID-19 medical coverage has been included in the comprehensive health care plans but it failed to offer the complete solution to the COVID19 catastrophe.
In the books of insurance, the expense of non-payable items is not borne by the insurance companies. During the pandemic, the non-consumable items have become instrumental in ensuring safety such as a pair of nitrile gloves, a single-use coverall, goggles with transparent glasses, an N-95 mask, shoe covers, and a face shield and these items comprised a majority of expenses for the patient as much as 25% of medical bills. However, none of the insurance compensated the expenses of the non-consumable items.
Thus, two leading health insurance companies, i.e. Max Bupa Health Insurance and Care Health Insurance, have taken initiatives to include the reimbursement of non-payable items in the form of a rider. Customers can avail their riders by paying a nominal extra premium fee. Not only this, but the rider provides a few more benefits to ensure that the customers get the least hit of this pandemic.
Max Bupa Health Insurance has named its rider 'Safeguard' and Care Health Insurance's rider is known as 'Care Shield'. These riders accompany individual as well as family floater health plans giving the option to customers to strengthen any kind of insurance plan taken for them and their families.
These riders bestow three benefits to the customers if availed. The foremost benefit is that this pays for the Non-payable items paid up to the sum insured such as PPE Kits, masks, covers, shields, etc. This rider is expected to support the customers with financial support for the non-consumable items which are non-ignorant in the treatment of COVID prominently and in other diseases.
The second advantage is the booster benefit or no claim bonus shield. This is similar to the non-claim bonus which the policyholder is entitled to leverage in the year of no claim. Indeed, COVID19 is impacting largely to everyone, hence, to support its customers, the insurance company is offering no impact on the non-claim bonus benefit. Max Bupa Health Insurance's Safeguard benefit has 'Booster benefit safeguard' which states that there will be no impact on your Booster benefit if claims in a policy year are up to Rs. 50,000. Similarly, Care Health Insurance under its Care Shield offers a benefit No Claim bonus Shield. In this, if the total payable claim amount in Policy Year is <25% Sum Insured, then, No Claim Bonus (No Claim Bonus Super, if opted) as applicable in the base product shall not be reduced. This gives the lucrative advantage to customers to avail their bonus percentage if they claim a minimal amount.
The third and final benefit secures the policyholder from the surging medical inflation and gives additional protection in the longer run. Under Max Bupa's Safeguard rider, the insurance company offers 'Sum Insured Safeguard' that increases the base sum insured on a cumulative basis each policy year based on inflation rate. in this, the inflation rate would be computed as the average Consumer Price index (CPI) of the entire calendar year published by the Central Statistical Organization (CSO). There is no maximum limit on the increase in Sum Insured under this optional cover. Likewise, Care Health's Care Shield benefits the customer with 'Inflation Shield' under which the base policy Sum Insured is permitted to increase on a cumulative basis at each renewal on the basis of inflation rate in the previous year
While insurance companies are taking leap steps to help customers but this will benefit these companies also in return in staying relevant as well as penetrate better in the market with advanced offerings.
Written By : Naval Goel
Last Updated : Aug, 2021
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